Review of Can’t Resist Her

Book:  Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander

Source: I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Montlake

Release Date: July 19th, 2022

Pages: 299

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This book disappointed me on so many levels! This book was Read Now on NetGalley, and while I hadn’t heard anything about it, I decided to pick this book up anyways after reading the synopsis. Unfortunately, soon after I noticed that it had an extremely low rating on Goodreads. At the time it was something in the 2.98 range, I believe. Despite that, I continued to hold out hope that I would still enjoy it. Unfortunately, after reading it, I’m sad to say that I wish I had skipped this one.

But what was the premise that hooked me? Well, this book follows Summer, as she moves back to her hometown after many years to start a job as a teacher in a private school. When she arrives back home, she learns that the charter school her grandmother founded is being torn down and turned into a multi-use center. Complicating the matter is the fact that one of the women working for the development company on this project is her high school crush, Aiko. Summer then has to balance trying to save her grandmother’s legacy with falling in love with the woman of her dreams.

I have three main gripes with the way this story unfolded, but before I get to those, I want to mention that I think this story could have worked really well as a novella. The fact that it was 300 pages made the issues I had with this book glaringly obvious, and when I saw there was no real resolution or payoff for all my frustration after all those pages, that cemented the fact that this book was just way too long.

I’m going to start by talking about my aggravation with the plot. The whole conflict of the story centers around the school Summer’s grandmother founded. The currently abandoned, unused school that Summer’s grandmother founded. Summer is very upset at all the changes and gentrification that she sees when she moves back home, and she takes out those feelings on trying to stop the demolition and eventual development of her grandmother’s school. However, I was never able to connect to her concerns.

From a purely familial perspective, I understood that she didn’t want the building destroyed, but on a communal level, getting rid of an abandoned building to turn it into anything else, is a net neutral, or even positive thing. I understood her concerns about gentrification, but that was why I wondered why she didn’t focus on what would be built, rather than just trying to keep a dusty old building standing. No one’s rent was being raised, no one was getting kicked out of the building, the gentrification would only come if the building was turned into something that didn’t benefit the community. Which is also why it made no sense that Summer was upset at Aiko the entire book. Aiko was not the one managing who moved into the space. Yet, Summer blamed her for the changes going on.

Honestly, I think that the setup may have been an attempt to add a tinge of tension between the two characters, but even if that were the case, that attempt would have been immediately overshadowed by the insta-lust. These two apparently shared one kiss in high school that was so mind-blowing that both of them have been thinking about it for years. Then when they meet each other again all these years later, they instantly are attracted towards one another and want to get to know the other person more.

That sounds great, except that there was no chemistry between the two, yet when reading from each of their perspectives it became clear that the main reason they’re interested in one another is sexual. Which would be fine, except that they each claimed that wasn’t the case while sexualizing the other person every time they were in eyesight. So you were told that there was something interesting and worthy about each woman, but when you actually try to see what that something is, the character is only talking about the love interest’s body. The amount of times I read about a character’s chest, butt, and mouth was excessive and unnecessary. It only made the lack of actual chemistry and compatibility more evident.

But that brings me to my third and final point, which is the writing itself. Maybe I should have started with this one, since the writing ended up doing a major disservice to the entire book. Not only was every little scene fully described and explained, there were countless moments that should have been cut from the book because they were only included for very specific, obvious reasons that didn’t mesh with the overall themes and direction of the plot. Beyond that though, my main gripe with the book is that it was kind of pointless. Summer and Aiko never had any real tension. They had no reason to be together and no reason not to be together. Any drama in this book was fabricated by the characters making dumb choices that none of their many friends and relatives ever tried talking them out of until they were facing repercussions. By the end of the book I just wanted it to be over because I couldn’t care less what happened. Anything that I thought might be interesting in the beginning was never given a chance to shine, and by the end of the book I gave up on hoping that anything compelling might happen.

2 Stars

I realize that this review is very harsh, but I just did not enjoy myself. Despite wanting to love it, I just could not, for the aforementioned reasons. I had to push through the very end to finish this book, but I managed, and decided to give this book 2 stars in the end.

What was the most recent book that greatly disappointed you? Which book do you think would have been better if it were shorter?


2 thoughts on “Review of Can’t Resist Her

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